Businesses use accounting information systems to help facilitate the accounting process. With accounting information systems, a computer program performs accounting processes such as payroll, accounts payable/receivables, general ledger and others. In addition, such as system streamlines multiple accounting processes by assisting with compiling and recording financial information for better record keeping. Because accounting information systems are expected to continue to grow over the next 10 years, there is an increased need for people who know how to use them.

Function

The use of information systems is crucial in recording vital financial data. Major corporations keep data such as sales, profits, expenses and many other items for financial reporting and budgeting. Additionally, these systems allow some type of transaction recording on a periodic basis. Good record keeping is important for both tax purposes and possible audits. By using computerized accounting information systems to manage accounting processes and maintain proper records, companies are able provide accurate, timely data to shareholders and/or regulatory agencies when necessary.

Benefits

Accounting information systems provides businesses with the ability to record all types of financial information for future use. In addition, these systems are huge time-savers and make the accounting processes and procedures easily repeatable. Because of that, these systems save companies money because the number of people needed to complete accounting processes is reduced. Also, the risk of human error is drastically reduced because the computer systems manage the accounting processes, and documents are automatically created by the systems. It is imperative that businesses keep accurate books, and accounting information systems make this requirement much easier to meet.

Careers

Because the accounting industry has become much more computerized, the role of accountants and auditors are changing drastically. Instead of doing many of the tedious tasks that are now handled by the computer systems, accounting professionals are seen more as system managers, information analysts and/or advisers. Accounting information systems professionals usually go into careers in accounting systems, systems design, accounting systems management, auditing, consulting and other systems-related areas of accounting. The salary for these positions ranges anywhere from $54,000 to $85,000 or more a year, depending on experience.

Curriculum

Generally, in addition to the standard accounting curriculum, a student studying accounting information systems will take several information systems classes. Courses such as accounting information systems, systems analysis and design, and database analysis design are commonplace in most programs. Courses such as system quality assurance and controls, and e-business-type courses are also included.

Considerations

The accounting information systems profession is growing rapidly with the advent of businesses computerizing their accounting processes. As a result, businesses are seeking professionals with not only an information systems background, but also people who understand accounting concepts. Although students pursuing an accounting information systems degree are faced with pretty rigorous coursework, pursuing this line of study will reap many rewards because the career outlook for this profession is excellent in terms of job growth and financial rewards.